Portsmouth look forward to European debut

May 18, 2008

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) - FA Cup winners Portsmouth were cautiously relishing a maiden European campaign in next season's UEFA Cup after winning the FA Cup for the first time since 1939.

Harry Redknapp's side beat Cardiff City 1-0 in Saturday's final to secure their first major title since winning the league championship in 1950, but coach Joe Jordan insisted that the club must now look to progress further.

'We've got try and make sure that we don't stand still,' Jordan told Sky Sports News before the team departed for a victory parade on the south coast later on Sunday.

'The chairman has been great with Harry and allowed him to do that and progress and bring players in. Now we're in the UEFA Cup, we'll certainly be looking to strengthen the squad.'

Portsmouth look forward to playing in Europe for the first time knowing that with internationals like Lassana Diarra, David James, Sol Campbell, Niko Kranjcar and Jermain Defoe - cup tied on Saturday - they have the players to compete.

After two consecutive top half finishes they will also be keenly aware of the perilous distraction a lengthy UEFA Cup run can cause domestically.

'Bigger teams than ourselves have tried to adapt and take that extra responsibity to challenge in Europe, and if you're not prepared, you can suffer,' former Scotland midfielder Jordan added.

'We want to be able to play on both fronts and we'll be looking to balance the squad to allow that to be done.'

Last season Everton's UEFA Cup run hindered their challenge for Champions League qualification while Bolton Wanderers plummeted from 7th to 16th despite fielding weakened teams in the latter stages of Europe's second competition.

Porstmouth know Premier League success will be the true test of progression.

'Pompey are in Europe and we want to give a good show,' Jordan said 'But we're looking for the top ten and hopefully be in contention for a UEFA cup place through our league placing. That would be a mark of improvement and success at the club.'